Michael Jessen - 'Memories'

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Michael Jessen - 'Memories'

A bright, punchy little album.

The debut album from Danish guitar player Michael Jessen, 'Memories', is an album that promises Melodic Rock with emphasis firmly on the melodies. Joining forces with journeyman singer Goran Edman, the pair put together an EP which impressed sufficiently to gain a deal for a full album. With Edman on board, the material has every chance and opener 'Broken Heart' ticks all the boxes with its perfect balance of guitar riffing and a big, soaring chorus.

'My Own Funeral' is a slower burner but no less effective after repeated listens, while 'Blackwater' bounces along with help from a guest guitar solo from Europe's John Norum. 'The Rose' takes the listener into firm power ballad territory while 'Prisoner' is a melancholy, sparse piano-led tune.

The primary emphasis however is for big choruses interspersed with big guitar riffs, as evidenced on 'Dreams Die Hard' and 'Lost In L.A.'. The album closes with an instrumental 'Freefall' which is okay and overall it all passes by rather quickly. The reason for that is because the album clocks in at 40 minutes – remember records that did that? That's actually a big plus for me and I respect Jessen for it; it's clear he hasn't padded out his record for the sake of filling up a release and sometimes you don't want to listen to the same guy for sixty or seventy minutes!

It's a bright, punchy little album and while it's not something that blew me away, it's a more than listenable effort bolstered by the usual high quality vocal work from Edman; worth checking out.

James Gaden

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